PARIS, March 27 (Xinhua) -- A group of French college students have staged a musical on the legend of ancient Chinese heroine Mulan, blending modern dance with Chinese songs.
The musical is scheduled to be staged in Paris in May after a successful show in Reims in northern France on March 16. The musical troupe consists of some 100 students of NEOMA Business School, who have learned to speak Chinese and even to sing in Chinese for the musical.
The students started from scratch, composing plot, lyrics and songs, made their own props and costumes, said Zhu Shuting with the Neoma Confucius Institute for Business, a sponsor of the show.
Camille Alleton, sophomore of the business school and key organizer of the musical, recalled having a hard time finding sponsors as many people didn't believe a group of students can put up a musical.
With the support of the Confucius institute, Alleton and her schoolmates finally made it, earning big applause from an audience of more than 1000 at the musical's debut.
"Mulan is my favorite Chinese legend. I'm thrilled to play a role in showing it to fellow French people," she said.
In ancient China, young woman Mulan disguised herself as a man in order to take the place of her father in the army. For the next 12 years, she fought courageously with men on the battlefield, becoming a legendary warrior, according to the Chinese legend. Disney had turned the story into a classic animated musical, also named Mulan.
For six months, the students spent every weekend in the rehearsing room. On Saturdays, they practiced in the school ballroom. And on Sundays when the school was closed, they went to a nearby stadium. "Their dedication showed their love for the art and the Chinese culture," Zhu said.